Leading pro-Israel organizations are rallying behind Rep. Elaine Luria in her hotly contested Virginia race that could see Israel lose one of its most ardent Democratic allies in the Capitol.
Luria’s Second Congressional District battle against Republican rival Jen Kiggans is too close to call, less than three weeks before the midterms on November 8.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee sent two emails to its supporters in recent weeks highlighting Luria’s tight race, urging them to donate to help reelect her. The fundraising effort builds on the pro-Israel lobby’s ongoing efforts to aid her campaign throughout the election cycle.
“Congresswoman Elaine Luria is one of the strongest pro-Israel voices in Congress. We MUST help her win on Election Day so she can keep fighting for a strong and secure U.S.-Israel relationship,” the email reads.
The AIPAC message also included links to donate amounts ranging from $25 to $500, stating: “Congresswoman Luria is a strong supporter of the Jewish state – we MUST keep strong pro-Israel voices like hers in Congress. Can we count on your financial support right now to make sure that Congresswoman Luria is not defeated?”
AIPAC spokesperson Marshall Wittmann said: “We strongly support Representative Luria because she has demonstrated committed and effective leadership in advancing the U.S.-Israel relationship during her service in Congress,” since being elected in 2018.
Democratic Majority for Israel, which endorsed Luria in July, launched a new digital ad supporting her, detailing GOP opponent Kiggans’ positions on abortion while highlighting Luria’s support for reproductive rights and veterans. The six-figure ad buy is targeting likely voters in her district.
Both U.S. Navy veterans, Luria has repeatedly made Kiggans’ position on abortion a key attack point, saying “she wants to make abortion illegal.” The GOP candidate backed the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade earlier this year, but has said she supports exceptions to abortion restrictions and isn’t in favor of a nationwide ban.
The increased support for Luria from AIPAC and DMFI is an extension of her unrivaled goodwill within the pro-Israel community. The vice chairwoman of the House Armed Services Committee, which authorizes defense funding for Israel, Luria has used her platform to advocate against calls for conditioned aid.
She has also led efforts supporting U.S.-Israeli research into post-traumatic stress disorder and against probes by the International Criminal Court into Israel. She hasn’t shied from combating Israel’s progressive critics in the Democratic caucus, nor has she hesitated in pressuring President Joe Biden on matters such as Iran or China. She was notably against the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and has been a critic of the diplomatic efforts undertaken by the Biden administration regarding Tehran.
Her district, which shifted slightly Republican following redistricting, is widely considered to be among the most competitive and important House races in the country. The result will also have a direct implication on the foreign policy debate within the Democratic caucus next session.